If you or someone you love lives with repetitive strain injuries, then you know how very real and painful it is. It disturbs me that Bush's appointment to head up the Labor Department is so callous on this topic. Son of Antonin Scalia, Eugene Scalia (nepotism, anyone?), has called RSI "junk science," "quackery," and "strange." Before heading up the Labor Department, little Scalia represented management in anti-ergonomics cases. [via sotd]

Ergonomics programs reduce health care costs. And they aren't expensive to implement compared with the costs of treating injuries. But that would mean less money for the health care industry. (Not to mention happier, healthier, more productive employees.) A proposed OSHA ergonomics standard for computer workers was recently defeated in Washington. What now? OSHA ergonomics architect David Cochran (from my alma mater) speculates in the SF Bay Guardian. With this appointment, it doesn't look good for workers. Heartless.

Comments

RSIs are real, but there is evidence that employees who may be subject to them (just about anyone) can avoid them with regular exercise in the areas where they're susceptible. For instance, a few workers at my company have started rock climbing together after work, and those workers have reported less pain than their coworkers who don't exercise. Not a scientific study by any means, but good enough for me to join them.
I agree that exercise is important, and not all of the burdon should be placed on employers for their employees' health. I also think that employers need to provide a safe work environment, and they shouldn't be able to shirk that responsibility by laying the blame for health problems with workers. My guess is you're at work for far more hours than you're rock climbing...and imho you should have the same sort of safety gear available to you to make sure you don't get hurt.
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